Intimate journey

In the first part of his book Often the infinite overthrows me, in the heart of her writing room, Rachel Leclerc questions her peaceful present, the sublime beauty of the maritime landscape unfolding before her. Urban for years, here she is back in the land of childhood and who stands at the edge of words, asking again “the reason for the poem” in The seasons bedroom. She describes her approach precisely: “all day long with thirst and courage / I struggle against imperceptible chains / then I return to the desert of the workshop / I wait for the real, the ephemeral to return. “

Always judicious use either of the pronoun “you”, in the first part (whereas the “I” of the poem is addressed to itself remarks or advice), or of quotation marks in the third part “The last season” (then that the two characters of the poetic tale confidences on their inner world), sets up skillful levels of writing. Thus one enters the great intimacy of active thought, at the center of more objective descriptions of the whole.

First circumscribed to the strict poetic expectation at the beginning of the collection, the text deviates radically towards the poetic narrative in the last two parts of the collection, but with that intelligence of the poetic which knows how to impose, frequently and in crucial moments, a more lyrical, a force of the image as of the meditation which lifts the text.

“Famine” traces the effect of the eruption of the Tambora volcano in 1885, which caused famine, frost and snow in midsummer. One might think that the coming of this text was incongruous, but it is not, since the image of the ash-black cloud covering the sun for months brings back to the fore the “shadow dog” which watches, prepares the final part, “The last season”, which will question the violence of the father, the death of the mother, the disturbed childhood. In front of the dying mother, she describes herself as “that little soul at the bedside of her suffering”. Faced with the violence of the father, the text will be allusive, even modest, but effective, enlightened by a whispered voice, not to say still frightened. The scene where the father comes to lift the children’s beds, in the middle of the night, letting them fall violently, suggests the anguish he has experienced.

Here is a collection which beautifully underlines that “the houses sleep / in the confusion of the signs”.

Low clarity

Colin draws a “sycamore for David Nebreda”, in the first part of his Chant d’obstacles, a hymn to the skeletal beauty of this schizophrenic photographer. From the outset, his poetry resists the light of any revelation, sails in the confines of the complex, but delicately, slowly and relentlessly, this idea of ​​the flayed given to pasture develops. But again, this is not certain. “Cherubino” will not shed more light on the crevices of summer, the fleeting, drifting meaning obscuring the reading. We do not really know what to think when “touching the neck / takes the place of a deposit”, nor when the poet asks himself “for whom to cut / in my three-thirds crumbled hair”. These bizarre slippages, I do not really know where this leads a word which, moreover, sometimes lights up.

We will not hide from you that this way of confusing the tracks, of making amalgamations of all kinds without really apparent link, without seeking any clarity whatsoever, gives this collection a somewhat old tone, based on outdated Automatist references. . At a time when poetry tends more and more towards the narrative, the return to fog is somewhat surprising. Even if it was a question of creating a new language, but no.

Sometimes illuminated, they said, this poetry… indeed. It suffices, for example, to read this very beautiful page: “it is a thing of reed and mint / thing made of needles, wet arpeggios / of a fallen downpour, elsewhere his desire // the rest is made up landscape / soufflé, which retains, resembles / thus the stripped rain / of a piece of words ”; or again these two beautiful lines: “we don’t cry,” she says / we have twilight. Still, this difficult proposition is reserved for word buffs, apart from the agreed clarity.

Next to violence

If the subject is quite different in Radial, we are not far from a fairly similar perception of poetry between Valérie Forgues and Colin, from the same desire to scramble the subtext that could have better flushed the clear surface of a perceptible statement. Forgues, too, tends to confuse poetry, rupture of images and fracture of text. Once again, this is not bad, it is quite simply offered as an escape from what there would have been to say, while we abandon the reader a little to his fate. It is a fairly common way to withdraw in this way, to hide under the dark layers of one’s little inner world, badly decoded if not undecoded. It is certain that this collection has lost the beautiful clarity ofA dress for hunting (The lizard in love, 2015), the quality of which we had mentioned here.

The poet summons, one would say, the image of the accident (title of a part), of the breaking, to enter into itself, in the history of “a rooting in the void”, as it is enough to say. awkwardly blurb. Relationship between Colin and Forgues we said, let’s go and see: “our bird accidents / the massacre is playing tricks / on my voluntary falls / the car is suffocating on a wooden road / I sting you”. Okay… we don’t mind. How to enter this page: “Perched in the chandelier / a cordial breath / fractures and dislocations / a sharp blow on the string”? This inevitably leads to a difficulty in clearly circumscribing what a “goosebumps / beaten up” can hide.

It is not easy to get rid of the poultry and perceive the woman being treated as a beaten “hen”. If we insist so much on the shadow cast that obscures the text, it is surprising when we have the possibility of identifying a dull anger, through images of wounds, of choppers, of broken landscapes, and of voluntarily. to miss his own word. However, here and there, beautiful lost lines: “I cling to toothless girls”, “your blood walks with me” or “the succession of burnt lands / and my beaches / escape me”.

There is no doubt for a second that this collection will find its readers, insofar as surrender is a priority for those who engage in it.

The seasons bedroom | ★★★★ | Rachel Leclerc, Le Noroît, Montreal, 2021, 184 pages // Chant d’obstacles | ★★ ​1/2 | Colin (Zouvi), Poète de brousse, Montreal, 2021, 144 pages /// Radial | ★★ | Valérie Forgues, The lizard in love, Montreal, 2021, 71 pages

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